A Brave Transition

A transition requires you to be brave. They are so often difficult with managing the unknown. So how could transitions be made easier?

Note: This post was written before the outbreak of COVID 19. This project has been in development already for close to one year.

My Sparkle Book is about a brave transition and specifically the process leading up to it. My hope was that it would offer a supportive and useful story for people considering a difficult transition, or actually going through one.

Almost every reader that gave feedback on My Sparkle book said, it is “beautiful”. I don’t feel however it has yet created the impact I think it is capable of.

My Sparkle Book Hardcover
My Sparkle Book Hardcover

“Too Abstract!”

In terms of the book, “too abstract” was what common feedback I received. Quite honestly, I am comfortable with this.

Why? The fact that it is abstract, that there is art, that it is poetic, that the book requires thought and reflection, it fits. It fits me. But… I did work hard with the target in mind to make it useable, concrete and useful in everyday life. So I felt somewhat disappointed.

How could I change this?

I wanted to create an environment where people could:

  • Practice identifying a change that they want or need to make;
  • Practise going through the process of change, a transition;
  • Practice making decisions that affected not only themselves but other players AND also the game environment;
  • Practice learning about how to manage their health and wellbeing during this transition.

A game! A game was the only way I could think of that could create this kind of environment, with these kinds of elements while gaining this kind of experience.

By doing so, I hoped that My Sparkle book could also be a more useful tool in real life. By triggering a game memory one could be better prepared for real-life transition scenarios.

My experience as a Method (Game) Maker?

Europa is top
Europa is top

Twelve years ago, I developed a method to help teach geography and history during the beetroute project (2008). My partner and I produced video content for students and delivered live presentations. Although this project was not focused specifically on a curriculum topic, it was well-received as an extra. This project was successfully completed but was far from sustainable.

Seeking a more sustainable model, led to the development of the Europa is Top pilot (2011). This project was produced in collaboration with Peter Heres and his company, xplore, a Dutch edutainment specialist. We started with a specific goal, to teach European citizenship using specific curriculum points. During this project’s development, I found myself very much out-of-my-depth because I was new in the Netherlands and my language skills were minimal. I experienced the process, learned a lot and together we produced a really great pilot. Through external circumstances, this pilot was sidelined after nearly two years of development.

So in 2019, when I began to develop a method to play the My Sparkle book content, I found myself drawing on my previous years of experience. It wasn’t all new ground.

The result of this development is a board game, currently titled “brave.”

I believe that by playing ‘brave’, you will be better prepared to successfully make the transition you need.

Jon Earle

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